Friday, May 02, 2014

THE 100 Live+3 Tweeting: "Contents Under Pressure"

"Contents Under Pressure," the first of the two episodes I co-wrote this season on THE 100, aired on April 30. It was live-tweeted by a number of our fantastic cast and producers, but I did want to share some tidbits of my own.

Akela Cooper was my wonderful writing partner-in-crime on this episode, and she tweeted some cool behind the scenes photos if you want to scroll back through her Twitter timeline.

(Missed the ep or want to rewatch as you read? You can watch it online for a couple more weeks -- the CW streams the most recent five episodes)

  • Windy pixels - That cool storm outside at the beginning? All CGI courtesy of our vfx house Zoic (BSG, FIREFLY, too many others to list). This episode is what's called in the biz a "bottle show," meaning it's shot on our existing sets (putting production designer Matthew Budgeon's work deservedly in the spotlight). The ep's title is a tip of the hat to that.
  • Cat's out of the bag - It was important to show that everyone on the Ark heard Raven's transmission from Earth. The Council's policy of secrecy is about to bite them in the rear...
  • Is there a doctor in the house? - Not all writers like doing research, but all of us on THE 100 really do. I researched how Civil War doctors treated stab and arrow wounds to get a sense of what Clarke would be able to do with basically no supplies. We also got assistance from Hollywood, Health, & Society, an organization that works with TV and movie writers on health and medicine topics, in vetting the dialogue of Abby and Jackson as they talk Clarke through the procedure.
  • Hic! - We wanted to thread in a mention of Monty's moonshine and the still he and Jasper built earlier in the season, but couldn't find an organic place for it. You haven't seen the last of Monty and Jasper's hobby, though, so stay tuned.
  • Speaking of, where's Monty and Jasper? - In our minds, they went out to get some of that antibiotic seaweed from ep 103 for Finn. Ultimately, since it's not important for the story, we just mention that they're out and about and move on. There's limited time in these episodes to tell a lot of story, so the inessential gets trimmed out.
  • Solar cells - Torches look cool, but it's tricky and limiting to shoot with them indoors. Raven to the rescue! In other episodes, you can sometimes catch a glimpse of other solar cells in the outdoors camp set.
  • So Say We All - Mad, mad love for BATTLESTAR GALACTICA from all of us on THE 100. So excited that Alessandro Juliani (Gaeta/Sinclair) and Kate Vernon (Ellen Tigh/Diana Sydney) are in the cast!
  • The Grounder's journal - As EP/creator Jason Rothenberg has said, the journal is full of Easter Eggs. Including a hint about the Grounder's name, which we'll learn soon.
  • Wire sutures - Yep, this is a real thing. Hardcore, right?
  • Call poison control - I based the poison on manchineel tree sap, a real poison used by indigenous people of the Caribbean and Florida. Arrowroot is the antidote, taken orally or as a poultice. Thomas McDonell (Finn) did research on seizure behavior and symptoms for his frightening "code blue" moment.
  • "This is not who we are" - Just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed reading the online discussion and debate on this issue: when, if ever, is torture acceptable? Getting people thinking and talking about the "what if/what would I do" in these extreme situations on Earth and the Ark has been one of our goals for the show from the start.
  • Post-apocalyptic chic - Call me girly, but I just love Diana's outfit. Thumbholes are cool! Katia Stano's costuming on the show is so impressive. The Grounders, the repurposed clothing on the Ark and Earth... Can't wait to see the Comic-Con cosplay. ;) 
  • Music to torture by - Composer Evan Frankfort's score on the show artfully underscores the emotion of the scenes without dominating them. Those skittering strings when Raven yanks out the wires... Chills.
  • Keep those hankies handy - How amazing are Isaiah Washington (Jaha), Paige Turco (Abby), and Henry Ian Cusick (Kane) in this episode? The incredible good news that the Hundred are alive and that Earth is survivable also crushes all three of them with terrible, shattering truths. I still choke up during their scenes.
  • So much unsaid - Some of the best moments in this episode, IMO, don't have any lines! All those powerful looks between Eliza Taylor (Clarke), Thomas, and Lindsey Morgan (Raven)... between Bob Morley (Bellamy), Marie Avgeropolous (Octavia), and the Grounder (Ricky Whittle)... A+ performances all around.
  • We're out! - On a bottle episode you don't always get to shoot outside the standing sets, but we're really glad we were able to here for this one scene. Getting Clarke and Bellamy out of the claustrophobic dropship, once the "pressure" is off and left to face their various messes, really opens up the end of the show.
And, as many of you noticed, no one died! It's one of our "lighter" eps-- heh.

Massive thanks and congrats to our cast, crew, post team, and director John Showalter for their hard and excellent work on "Contents Under Pressure."

1 comment:

Becca's Book Affair said...

My entire family is in love with this show and this episode was particularly good. Keep up the amazing work to all everyone involved.